the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • Practicing Scales

    Practicing Scales

    The last installment of the Lowdown inspired a question from a reader about the “proper way to practice scales.” That would all depend on your specific goal, whether it be a technical or a musical one. There are innumerable ways to practice scales, and a plethora of material available to give you guidance. At the... »

  • Custom Shop: Ansir Music

    Custom Shop: Ansir Music

    Ansir Music is a custom shop based out of Ohio, consisting of the team of founder Jody Michael and artist Deric Smith. Jody, who has owned and operated a high precision tool and die shop, began to mix his bass-playing hobby with work, designing and creating basses. In turn, his business partner Deric, a self-taught... »

  • Focus and Time

    Focus and Time

    Q: I’ve been playing bass for five years, and I see that bass players that have been playing for three years who are way better than me! I focus on my modes, then on chord structure and then I focus on arpeggios… and it becomes hard for me to get technique down. What do you... »

  • How To: Adjusting Bass Pickups

    How To: Adjusting Bass Pickups

    In response to the my last column on bass pickups (Bass Pickups: A Guide to Formulating Your Sound) we received a request from a reader to cover the topic of setting up pickup height. Because everyone plays differently and every bass is different – even when comparing two similar models from the same company –... »

  • Rants and Doodles

    Rants and Doodles

    So, I had a night off and decided to go see some music at a local club here in Portland, Oregon. It was early in the night when I was faced with one of my biggest musical pet peeves: noodling on stage before your set. In short: please, don’t do it! This was a friend’s... »

  • Classical Pieces for Beginner to Intermediate Level Bassists

    Classical Pieces for Beginner to Intermediate Level Bassists

    This week, Dr. D. tackles a reader’s question about incorporating classical music into his practice routine. Q: I have recently started the switch to upright bass, I have been practicing technique and working my scales (pissing off my roommates) but I want to bring a third portion to my practice and incorporate some beginner classical... »

  • Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 3)

    Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 3)

    This week, we continuing the series on the making of Orchid, a custom bass by Rick Toone. If you missed it, check out Part 1 and Part 2. Trapezoid Neck Profile Ebony facing is glued to the headstock. Next, the fretboard, headstock and contours are precisely shaped, including the patented Trapezoid Neck Profile used on... »

  • Ready, Set… What To Play?

    Ready, Set… What To Play?

    Q: When I’m in jam situations and someone asks me to “kick it off” or start something, I just freeze and draw a blank. How do you know what to play? A: This is something we’ve all dealt with at some point. The problem is all in our minds. Our analytical and critical minds see... »

  • Willie Dixon: Preserving the Legacy

    Willie Dixon: Preserving the Legacy

    In today’s fast paced world it’s not uncommon for us to overlook the legacies of those who paved the way for so many bassists who came later. Thankfully, a new website dedicated to the life and legacy of Willie Dixon will help ensure the legendary bluesman’s landmark contributions to bass playing, the blues, and helping... »

  • Doing the Best You Can

    Doing the Best You Can

    Q: I tend to get very nervous before any live performance. How do you deal with performance anxiety? A: Everyone, at some point in their development, gets nervous before a gig or feels inadequate to the task at hand. It’s natural. The best thing you can do is over prepare! Still, the nerves are there.... »